The Spring Fling

Party-Gyle by | Apr 2012 | Issue #63

Spring ushers in an annual renewal; new wardrobes, newly cleaned abodes and new love, hopefully, in the air. Whether you’re single or attached, you can certainly get into this spirit of rebirth somehow. For single folks: Have you ever thrown an intentional “mixer” at home? Why not? It leads to way more possibility than going to a dive bar. And if you’re happily wed or somewhere along those lines, why not have all your favorite couple-friends over to toast to a bright new season together?

That’s exactly the kind of party we’re talking about for spring: an ode to new love, and a lot of Saisons. This beer style means “season” in French (the language of love), and has come to represent a distinctly refreshing category of light ales. Hence, the spring equinox on March 20th will mark the release of these crisp, zesty, tingly beers from many breweries. Oh, and throwing a party is great motivation for getting to your spring cleaning the day after.

The Single Mixer
You could go a few ways with this: Spread an impressive array of cheese, olives, some (preferably homemade quick-) pickles, and crusty bread on the table. Find an amenable number of crisp ales or Saisons to pair with them, and invite all sorts of people. You could add a theme to the mixer, like a pre-Easter party without the religious fuss, or have another focal food rather than cheese. Either way, this is the perfect occasion to invite that co-worker you sort-of always wanted to hang out with, but wasn’t sure how to ask. It’s a house party, and worse comes to worse, you’ll bond over headaches the next day.

Tips to Fire Up the Mix …
Place a blind ballot for best pairings of beers and cheeses. Have people write down their ultimate pairing, and read them aloud at the end of the night. See who picks the same exact pairings, and a love match just might be made.

Recommended beers …
Brewery Ommegang // Hennepin Farmhouse Saison (New York)
Brasserie Dupont // Saison Dupont (Belgium)
Lift Bridge Brewery // Farm Girl Saison (Minnesota)

The Settled Couple Session
Now that the hard part of finding a mate is over, you can go the extra mile of showering him or her, and your mutual couple-friends, with a great meal. Buffet-style or family-sized plates are communal and fun, not to mention easy on the host. Roast a rack of lamb for the special occasion, or for more economical fun, a few spring chickens. The side courses can be provided by your guests, or thrown together from simply sautéed greens, good bread and whatever else you please.

Tips to Incite Amore Among Couples …
Have each couple come up with their perfect beer and food pairing menu together. Read them aloud, without revealing who wrote what menu. Have everyone at the table vote on their favorites, then declare the winner of the vote the next host and hostess for a dinner party like this, with said menu.

Recommended beers …
Fremont Brewing // Saison the Lamb (Washington)
Boulevard Brewing Co. // Saison Brett (Missouri)
Epic Brewing // Sour Apple Saison (Utah)